OPINION

Editorial

The recent statements by US President George W. Bush and other top Washington officials have clarified the outline of America’s response to the devastating blow of international terrorism. It is clear that the Bush administration, in contrast to the fruitless efforts of its predecessors, has not opted for some military strikes aimed primarily at domestic consumption but for a prolonged, multidimensional campaign in order to uproot this major new threat to global security. In this context, military violence will come under political objectives so as to drain all social support for international terrorism. The recent ceasefire between the Israelis and the Palestinians highlights the American determination in that direction. Greece’s unreserved support for the American nation as expressed by Prime Minister Costas Simitis was inevitable. Being an integral part of the family of liberal, Western democracies, Greece could not possibly have remained neutral in a war declared by the forces of obscurantism, not only on the USA but also on freedom and democracy per se. The nascent anti-terrorist campaign will bring sweeping changes to the Balkan periphery. The revelations about Osama bin Laden’s links with Albanian irredentism and Bosnian Muslim extremism will affect the situation in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo and Bosnia. In the meantime, Turkey’s NATO support against Islamic fundamentalism will bring the military and political establishment of Greece’s neighbor into confrontation with its domestic political Islamic forces. The outcome of this confrontation will largely determine Turkey’s European prospects. Greek foreign policy will have to carefully weigh its hopes and possible dangers stemming from the collateral effects of the international anti-terrorist struggle in the Balkans and develop any necessary initiatives. War is the father of all things, Heraclitus said. It is just that no one knows, in advance, what exactly will be born… Of course, we could not go to neighboring Afghanistan where the war with the Russians was being waged. Those were the traditional lands of the Kalash. Many of those who had been forced out were now living with their fellow-Kalash in northern Pakistan.